June 2024

Markings Newsletter

Volume: 84   |    Issue: 06

“But the seed planted in the good soil represents those who hear the word, embrace it, and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted.” ~ Mark 4:20 (NLT)

From Rev. Quentisha Davis Wiles, MSW, ASW, MDIV, Senior Pastor

Grand Rising, Saint Mark’s Community,

I greet you in the loving name of Christ. Can you believe it’s already June? God has truly been good to us. We are blessed to be in a community of loving people willing to share their gifts and talents. Saint Mark’s embodies the term, “living witness” and is a beacon of light and love here and across the world.

As we journey together through our annual Stewardship Campaign “Cultivating the Harvest” I invite you to reflect on the Bible verse above – its meaning and how you might engage the idea of “seed and soil” into your life. Where do you desire a Harvest in your life? And, how might you encounter God on your journey? In what ways have you felt God nudging you in this season of life? These are profound questions and they are invaluable when answered and necessary to grow in our faith.

Just as a bountiful harvest requires good soil, sunlight and hydration, our spiritual fruitfulness hinges on experiencing God. If you are wondering how to begin or continue this effort to cultivate spiritual maturity, consider these practices:

  1. Make prayer a priority.
  2. Read and reflect on Scripture daily.
  3. Incorporate faith in your decision-making and grace towards self and others.
  4. Obey God’s commandment to Love!

I am convinced, if we sow seeds of love, our hearts become fertile soil for God’s life-giving word to take root which produces a bountiful harvest of spiritual growth and maturity. I invite you to join us this June as we focus on the process of Cultivating the Harvest of God’s love. And, invite someone whose life might be touched by growing in God’s Agape Love.

I look forward to seeing our journey together.

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Quentisha Davis Wiles, Senior Pastor

Vacation Bible School Kids, YOU are Wonderfully Made!

And, that is absolutely the truth. Join us for another high-energy, fun, creative, and reflective week together at “I Am Wonderfully Made” Vacation Bible School 2024. Build confidence and empower each other to see themselves as God sees them, focusing on positive affirmations each day. Ages 5-15 will experience:

Daily Positive Affirmations

  • Monday: I am Loved by God
  • Tuesday: I am Never Alone
  • Wednesday: I am Kind
  • Thursday: I am Valuable
  • Friday: I have been Uniquely Designed for a Purpose

Activities

  • Watercolor Painting
  • Music and Movement
  • Woodworking
  • Reflection on what “I Am Wonderfully Made” means to you
  • Last day? Ice cream social and a special performance by VBS attendees!

SIGN UP ASAP! Registration deadline is Monday, July 1 to ensure each participant receives a VBS t-shirt. Cost: $15 per participant (includes t-shirt and snacks).

Celebrating Robert Rouch and his music gifts to Saint Mark’s – Sunday, June 23 during coffee hour in Wesley Hall

During coffee hour on June 23 there will be a special dessert and card to sign honoring Robert and his many gifts of ministry he offered through music to Saint Mark’s for 8 years. Please be sure to attend to thank him and help send him off onto his next adventure.

Communion Preparer and Server Ministry Coordinators Changing

After many years, Iola Halligan is stepping down from coordinating and finding the monthly Communion Preparers & Servers. She had been the Communion Preparers coordinator for many years when she took on the ministry of finding Communion Servers after Covid when Communion was offered again. Thank you, Iola, for having stepped up to fill this ministry. Your service to Saint Mark’s is very appreciated.

Nanette Schwan, who has been a Preparer for several years, will take over as Preparer coordinator in July. If you would like to serve in the mininstry of Communion preparation once or twice a year, please contact Nanette at: summergrove@yahoo.com.

Kim Easterling will be arranging the Communion Servers from July on. She will need 8 people on the first Sunday of the month to help serve in this ministry. Please contact Kim at: kim_easterling@sbcglobal.net to be a Communion Server.

Equipping, Educating, Informing & Engaging

A Conversation with Ron West - Written by Colleen Townsley Brinkmann

“I found healing at Saint Mark’s,” he replied when I asked him what Saint Mark’s means to him.

During his late wife Joanne’s illness, Ron started to attend church. Knowing he wanted to attend a United Methodist one and Saint Mark’s was close to his home, he began coming on Sundays. “I would settle into the back row and found that it was a safe space for me to grieve. That’s what I needed the most at that time. Soon, Saint Mark’s started to grow on me,” he said. The genuine warmth of those he met brought him ever closer to the church and God. “It is the Food Closet, Mercy Pedalers, social activism, and the Pride Parade. To me, Saint Mark’s is a church without walls.”

After completing a Walk to Emmaus in 1990, Ron became involved with Kairos Prison Ministry and their 4-Day Weekend. Their lay persons and clergy meet weekly with groups of inmates in New Folsom for prayer and to provide support.

Why is Saint Mark’s important to Ron? “I go to church on Sunday to get my batteries charged and my spirit renewed. And then, I’m able to go to prison and minister to others.”

So, in closing, how did you come up with the idea of Karaoke Night as a ministry? “I was going with church friends to a karaoke brewery, got to know the DJ, and thought we should try it at Saint Mark’s. It’s a great way for all ages to come and have food, fun, and fellowship. Now, doesn’t THAT sound like a Methodist answer? Come even if you don’t sing. We meet in Grace Café the first Friday of every month 6 – 9 PM.”

Seeking Sunday Scripture Readers - Will That Be You?

Reading the scripture during Sunday’s worship service transports us to a different time and place. It brings our faith beautifully to life. Becky Matt, who coordinates Scripture Readers, is seeking a few new voices to join the existing team. All ages are enthusiastically welcome. Please contact Becky at 916.548.3151 or beckysmatt@comcast.net. Your voice and emotive reading will bring the words alive in a way only YOU can!

Get your Body Moving!

Do you like exercising with others? Want to learn self defense? Don’t know where to start and need a little coaching? Working out is fun with friends. Come join the exercise crew in MacMurdo Hall Tuesdays and Wednesday from 5:30 – 7:30 PM and some Saturdays 10 AM – 12 Noon. All ages are welcome! Call or text Ken Banghart at 916.955.0507 to learn more.

Saint Mark’s Path to Reconciliation by Barbara Eychaner

In 1990 the topic of becoming a Reconciling Congregation was brought to members who rejected it. It came up again in 2005 with a concerted effort to educate the congregation on what that meant and the effect going forward.

A Reconciling sub-committee of Ministry in Action met to find the best way forward to a good answer. The planning committee included Chris Harris, Paul Trauger, Jan Dahl, Chery Fuller, Margot Perry, Janice Steele, and Chris Allen, the facilitator. They quickly concluded that they needed a glimpse of how the congregation felt about the issue and needed to allow space and time for neutral inquiry. Pastor Faith Whitmore suggested getting the survey out immediately. A table appeared in the patio for conversations with volunteers. A positive decision would mean that the congregation was committed to overtly welcoming all people into congregational life and make public their understanding of inclusion.

Articles from the Reconciling committee appeared in Markings every two weeks. The committee felt this was a necessary step because gays and lesbians were the only group of people openly and systematically discriminated against by the United Methodist Church. Becoming a Reconciling Congregation would be a way of moving the welcome mat from the inside of the church to the outside.

Concerns were expressed about what it meant to be publicly inclusive. Education would be necessary. That included the Sunday morning patio table staffed by 20 volunteers and a variety of informational literature. Rev. Don Fado held two 3-week Sunday School classes for questions and conversation about the Wesleyan quadrilateral and reconciling issues. “Cake and Conversation” celebrated Valentine’s Day. A display of 50 stoles from the ecumenical “Shower of Stoles” took place in the narthex for several weeks. The committee held movie nights. A Town Hall was held on April 23, 2006 for continuing questions and conversation. And Markings articles appeared to answer commonly asked questions and share information about our community and this movement. Several of those articles included bios of the members of the team, some gay and some straight. One article provided an overview of the different groups, with definitions of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex. All of these educational activities kept up for months.

Finally, a Special Church Conference was held the first Sunday of May 2006 to decide. The time between the November survey and the May church conference provided time for discernment and reflection. Absentee ballots were available for those who could not attend in person. After all the ballots were counted, 269 yes votes outnumbered the 43 no votes and the 4 abstentions. Saint Mark’s officially became a Reconciling Congregation!

The Pride Parade every year gives us a chance to reinforce our commitment to growing a thriving, inclusive, and diverse congregation that engages the broader community with compassionate acts.

Help Represent Saint Mark’s, Where all Means ALL, at PRIDE!​

There is still time to join the Rainbow Alliance PRIDE crew! Walk in the parade, work the booth or both! Help represent the diversity and inclusivity of Saint Mark’s. Sign up with Richard Fox at foxman2004@sbcglobal.net.

Sac ACT Climate Justice Luncheon

You are invited to a luncheon hosted by Sacramento ACT and CA Interfaith Power and Light, June 5 at 11:30 AM, 5700 S Land Park Drive Sacramento, CA 95822. Join us as we explore how congregations in Sacramento can unite to drive positive change in climate justice. We look forward to your presence and valuable insights in this crucial conversation. Register HERE.

Nature Walk at Ancil Hoffman Park

June 8, 9 AM – 12 Noon UWF is hosting a Nature Walk at Ancil Hoffman Park followed by a picnic lunch. Everyone is invited especially those with children. The walk will be led by Saint Mark’s member, Mary Maret. Mary recently retired as a Biologist for the American River Parkway. She has a Master’s Degree in Botany. It will be a walk you won’t want to miss!

We will meet at the Maret’s home and walk over to the park. You can also park at Ancil Hoffman (fee of $8.00 per car). Bring a picnic lunch & drink or snack to enjoy after the walk. RSVP is encouraged so we won’t leave without you. Contact Margie Shunk at margieshunk76@gmail.com or 916 771-3204 to RSVP and to get Mary’s address.

United Women in Faith JUNE Circle Happenings & You’re Invited!

For more info contact the Circle Leader listed

Weekly Financial Update 4-8 to 4-14

Special Offering: $50

Total Contributions: $14,117.83

  • General: $13,937.83
  • Designated: $180

March Monthly Financial Totals

Total Income YTD through March = $169,306.28

Total Expenses YTD through March = $157,811.88

2024 Annual Budget: $704,231

Monthly Requirement: $58,686

New Prayer Requests

Jay Hart
Deanna Pootjes and Family
Friends and family upon the passing of
beloved Jean Fish
Robin Ware
Russ Burgess
Bev Mock
Jane Hines
Lori White
Cathy Parker
Hezekiah Wiles
Friends and family upon the passing of
beloved Joyce Estes
Arcadio “Snooky” Santiago
Erica Williams
Xavia Ortiz
Dejohn, Innes and John Davis
Billy Garner

Holding in Prayer

Jessie and Deborah Wiles

Erster Koker

Heinrich & Gladys Lugert

Joe Eckardt

Santana Santiago and family for the loss of their

son Daniel James Santiago

Iola Halligan

Jim Bulls

Daniel Isaac Asprer

Rachel Arambulo

Cath Fenimore-Brown

Rebecca Fain

Kathy Johnson

Kathy Atkins

Cathe Chatterton

Nicola Biasi

Deanna McKnight

John Miller

Danielle Ortiz

Debbie Wiles

Robin Ware

Brenda Zipners

Pastor Linda Kelly

Khady Bannister

Crystal Grant

Richard Burns and Bob Jacobs

Millie Loutensock

Wayne Turner

Pam and Chris Waldrep

Luci Schwartz

Mary Ann Gile

Robert Grieve

Ann Parsons

Paul Blankenship

Charlotte Gardner

Lucy Jeffries

Olivia Jones

Prayers for world peace

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